A week after super-typhoon Yolanda had struck the Visayan Region on November 13, 2013, a group of architects gathered together to discuss measures of relief they could provide to the victims and survivors. While deliberating avenues of assistance and striking a partnership with the French group Architectes de l’Urgence, the UAP Emergency Architects was born.
Led by its founding Chairperson Archt. Rey Gabitan, a team of architect-volunteers was deployed to the cities in Iloilo and Roxas to conduct an initial post-damage assessment to affected areas as well as provide technical assistance to rebuild damaged properties.
With its set of Core Group members headed by Archt. Stephanie Gilles as Chairperson since 2015, the UAP Emergency Architects (UAP-EA) has been the socio-civic disaster-response arm of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP). Its main goal is to help rebuild lives and support local communities in the Philippines affected by disasters and calamities, by collaborating with allied professionals and industry partners in post-disaster damage assessment, reconstruction, or relocation and capacity-building for disaster preparedness.
Now in its 4th year, UAP-EA has remained true to its objectives and principles. To continually plan and implement its projects, it conducts annual Strategic Planning Workshops in addition to the monthly Core Group Meetings to map out programs for yearly, short-term, and medium-term periods.
UAP-EA also delivers lectures to raise awareness on the importance of Resilient Area Planning, Infrastructure Development, Disaster-Resilient Design, and Earthquake and Seismic Resiliency to various schools and professional organizations, within and outside of the UAP.
Moreover, UAP-EA arranges seminars and workshops nationwide through what they call the EA Caravan, attended by architects, engineers, and environmental planners.
UAP-EA has collaborated with LGUs and NGOs to provide technical assistance to disaster-stricken communities. They have partnered with the Environmental Science for Social Change, CARE Philippines, Action Against Hunger, European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, PLAN International, among others. Currently, they are collaborating with GMA Kapuso Foundation for the rebuilding of DepEd schools in Marawi City.
In 2016, UAP-EA organized a seminar on Building for Resilience, well-attended by over 500 participants consisted of architects, engineers, contractors, as well as students.